Self-Improvement Month: Tips to transform your financial health

Bay Area

(KRON) September is National Self-Improvement Month, a great time to reassess goals and where you’re going in life.

Alameda Financial Advisor Sam Gaeta from Defined Financial Planning joined KRON4’s Noelle Bellow to share five ways to improve your personal finances and alleviate stress for the rest of your life.

Goal Setting

  • Goal setting is the foundation of a successful financial plan.
  • Sit down with your spouse or significant other and write down your goals; separate those goals into long-term and short-term categories.
  • When discussing these goals with your spouse, talk about why you want to accomplish each one.
  • This will help you prioritize what you need to save for first and how to accomplish each goal.

Track Your Financial Plan

  • Once your goals are in place, create a financial plan to help you reach them.
  • Determine exactly how much money you have coming in and how much you are spending each month.
  • But don’t stop there! A lot of people put a plan in writing then never look at it again. A plan is only as good as the paper it’s on. Put it into action, track it and follow it!
  • I work with people in or nearing retirement, and we create plans specific to their needs and goals.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

  • Investing can be intimidating or feel overwhelming, but you can get started by investing anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The amount should be something you’re comfortable with and fits into your financial plan.
  • The important thing to remember when investing is to think long-term. Just because a certain stock is performing poorly, doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make adjustments.
  • Work with a financial professional to build a diversified portfolio that has appropriate risk for your age and how close you are to retirement.
  • Investing is a great way to grow wealth, and your future self will thank you!

Learn Something New

  • A recent survey found nearly two-thirds of Americans are financially illiterate and unable to manage their finances.
  • Challenge yourself this month to improve your financial literacy. Read a book, listen to a podcast, take a class or attend a seminar on something in the financial world you want to learn more about.
  • Find something in your finances that you don’t understand and figure it out. The more you know, the better you can manage your finances.

Ask for Help

  • Finances can be complicated. It’s ok to ask for help.
  • Start by talking with trusted friends, family members or co-workers. Being open about your financial situation with others can help motivate and get you on the right track. It might also help to find an accountability partner.
  • If you have questions, find a trusted professional who can help.

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